Articles Posted in Nursing Home Attorneys

nursing home abuse and neglect

Senators Blame Government Regulating Office for Growing Number of Nursing Home Deficiencies

On Tuesday, July 23, bi-partisan members of the Senate Finance Committee, led by ranking committee member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), once again raised alarming concerns over the rising amount of physical, verbal, mental and sexual abuse incidences occurring inside U.S. nursing homes. In addition, and not for the first time this year, confusion regarding the current lack of oversight role the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is playing, and funding needs to support sufficient resident-to-staff ratios were recognized and discussed at great length.

Several lawmakers referenced a same-day released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that found:

nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys

Two partners talk about going from student to teacher

This piece was originally published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on August 1, 2019.

By Margaret Battersby Black and Michael F. Bonamarte IV

nursing home snapchat video

Video of Dementia Resident Taunted by Nursing Home Caregivers Was Shared on Social Media 

Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.”

The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video was captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” and the “snap” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.

poor elder care

Nursing Home Chain Failures Highlight a Greater Need for Ownership Regulation and Closer Government Review 

Some of the most troubling elder abuse and neglect stories stemmed from nursing home private ownership in the U.S. recently emerged thanks to an NBC News investigation featuring a man named Joseph Schwartz and his responsibilities over nursing home and long-term care facility chain, Skyline Healthcare. The mogul swiftly built his empire out of a small New Jersey office and then across the Midwest. It failed miserably leaving life-long pain and suffering for more 7,000 elderly Americans in more than 100 facilities in 11 states.

Massachusetts: Schwartz told staff there was no more money to fund all of his nursing homes or to pay them. The care team was buying toilet paper with personal funds to help residents. Patients were left for days in their feces due to staffing cuts and no one to help them. When some of the homes closed, 60 residents had nowhere to go, and family members were left uninformed of their loved one’s displacement. In March of 2019, the final three former Skyline Healthcare nursing homes in Massachusetts were closed and placed in receivership after Schwartz agreed to surrender licenses.

Chicago nursing home attorney

Leading Lawyers Magazine Features Attorney Margaret P. Battersby Black  

Attorney and Partner at Levin & Perconti, Margaret P. Battersby Black recently appeared in Leading Lawyers Magazine where she led the article by sharing her legal philosophy: to ensure her clients’ wrongs are righted. She continued, “I want to make sure they have a voice,” says Battersby Black, “and that those who take advantage of others are held accountable.”

Margaret grew up in Michigan, alongside family members who ignited her legal career. She says her father, Michael Battersby, also a personal injury attorney, inspired her as he “was always fighting for the underdogs” and his work left an impression on her. She went on to earn her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and her law degree at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Levin & Perconti Represents Injured and Evicted World War II Veteran in Neglect Suit

World War II veteran Charles Banas flew two heroic bombing missions in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944. The 96-year-old family man had plans to attend the 75th anniversary of the historic event with a trip to England and France to participate in commemorating ceremonies this year. Unfortunately, Banas was not present due to the negligence of an Evanston senior living home, Westminster Place. Banas had previously been residing at Westminster for more than 15 years and also received nursing and rehabilitation care at its McGaw Care Center.

nursing home abuse and neglect

CMS Will Publicly Post All Names of Most Concerning Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is reacting to the highly publicized release of U.S. Senators Bob Casey’s (D-PA) and Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) report titled, Families’ and Residents’ Rights to Know: Uncovering Poor Care in America’s Nursing Homes, by announcing it will soon disclose all of the names of care facility candidates in the agency’s Special Focus Facility (SFF) program. SFFs have a “persistent record of poor care” and were previously not available for the public to review. Some lawmakers and resident advocates even called the list a “scary secret” kept from the public to protect nursing home owners and their reputations.

The Pennsylvania lawmakers list included only 400+ facilities, 22 of which are located throughout Illinois, but there are almost 3,000 nursing homes that have a one-star rating on their health inspections, the worst ranking possible. With only 88 SFF program slots funded that likely leaves so many additional poor performing candidates for the program to publicly acknowledge. 

nursing home dementia

7 Risk Factors That Increase Dementia Deaths in Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is “one of the only top-10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. A growing majority of these individuals depend on care provided by others to manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and to keep them in safe environments and reside in nursing homes.

People with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease may be elderly, frail, and naturally prone to higher personal injury rates, infection, or falls and be at a higher risk of dying contributed to several known risk factors:

nursing home drug dangers

Elder Justice Coalition Links Nursing Home Abuse and Opioid Abuse

With an opioid epidemic in our country that is beyond alerting, it remains evident that the 2017 guidelines The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set forth for managing chronic pain with caution against opioid use are not being followed. The CDC continues to warn that the benefits for improving pain and function through dangerous opioids must outweigh the risks when prescribing and administering the drugs. One group of Americans persistently impacted by the mismanagement of opioids is the nursing home population.

The nonpartisan Elder Justice Coalition (EJC) recently met with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Health and Senior Advisor for Opioid Policy, Admiral Brett Giroir in response to the opioid crisis. Assistant Secretary for Aging and Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Lance Robertson and leadership of the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA) were also present. EJC National Coordinator Bob Blancato released this statement recapping the meeting in a January 23, 2019 EJC press release.

best illinois lawyer

Levin & Perconti 2019 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Selected

Congratulations to Levin & Perconti’s five partners and eight associates selected to the 2019 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. These honors are reserved for those legal professionals who exhibit excellence in practice. While up to five percent of the lawyers in Illinois are named to Super Lawyers, no more than 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

2019 Illinois Super Lawyers

Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards Winner
The National Trial Lawyers
Elder Care Matters Alliance
American Association for Justice
Fellow Litigation Counsel of America
Super Lawyers